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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Legacy half stack recently. I'm starting to be honest with myself. I'm kinda discouraged. My purpose in writing this is to get some ideas.

First of all the clean channel is deadly clean. Best I've played on.
However the Lead channel, well, I was hoping for Steve Vai tone. That's not what I'm hearing. Sounds quite mild to me. Not Vai'ish at all.... to me at least.

I put a dod EQ in the loop and have improved it alot. Only issue with that is the mild hum I hear.

I did some research and bought a Keeley SEM DS-1... Still bummed. It sounds compressed and bass'y when used with the amps Lead channel. Got the gain set at 6 on the amp and no distortion on the pedal.

I'm going to continue to tinker. I'm guessing that the tone I want is likely only found at higher volume. In all honesty I've only really tinkered with the tone at louder bedroom levels which is still hardly registering on the amp volume knob.

The guitar I play is an RG 560 with an SD blackout in the bridge
Really looking forward to your replies.

:)
 

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The Legacy is sort of an "old school" amp.

For Vai like gain, you will need heavily modified Distortion before the amp, sometimes combined with a second stage boost (or nowadays prolly Jemini, but never tried it).
Now you need to crank the amps gain AND volume up quite a bit to get some power tube saturation and boost the whole rig with your distortion + booster/overdrive.

Now you are getting there gain wise, you will need lots of delay and reverb. I have tinkered quite a bit with my Glass Nexus to get a Vai'isch sound.

IMHO though the best way to get a Vai'isch tone is sadly to NOT buy a legacy.
Got a solid Vai sound with a Carvin V3 in modern setting of the Gain channel and EQX, quite a bit of mids and presence and the Glass Nexus in the loop. With the JEM sounds like 100% Vai.
 

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I'm sure you've read this already, but the dirty channel doesn't come alive until you have the volume at at least 4. I've found 7 to be the sweet spot. Needless to say, this is extremely loud. 4 is too loud for every club I've played in. I had to get a hotplate for gigging. Even then, most soundmen thought it was too loud at -8 db.

If you need something that sounds great quiet, you may want to look at a JSX. It's the reverse of the legacy from what I've heard. I've heard it sounds better at bedroom levels than gig levels. However, take that with a grain of salt since I don't own one.
 

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I'd like to throw in an opposing view. When I had my Legacy half stack I was completely satisfied with the tone. I agree that the clean tone was fantastic. I really enjoyed it while being pushed with an OD-3. That is how I got my Satriani tones. For the Vai like stuff I usually just boosted the lead channel with a GE-7. I like to run my amps a little hotter than they need to be for the situation and use a volume at the end of my FX loop to limit the volume. Maybe that had something to do with it. Either way, I hope you can find a way to work it out because the Legacy is capable of producing some of the best tones I have ever had the pleasure to play with.

I also found that the demo Vai did on carvin.com was spot on what the amp could produce on its own. Does yours sound like that?
 

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I just picked up a Legacy combo yesterday and I got a fairly Vai-ish sound out of it by just running my standard effects......George Dennis distortion/Lexicon MX200/BBE Sonic Stomp....straight in through the front. I've got the bass,mid,and treble all dimed. On my last amp I dimed all three on my George Dennis, but with the Legacy I dialed the mid back about 30%. I got a pretty damn reasonable facsimile.

I agree with the opinions on the leadchannel. I'm playing it at home so I'm not about to crank it. The wife and kiddies were out yesterday and I had it to about 2........VERY loud,but not much grind, and pretty mediocre. Although I'm sure at F-15 levels it probably sweetens up alot. In fairness to the amp, I wasn't expecting it to have that kind of gain. The only amps I've ever played or owned that had that type of onboard grind are the 5150 and the old Mesa single rectifiers.
 

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i love my legacy, and can get all kinds of tones from it. try playing with the presence and treble settings, they interact very well together.

also, i hated the ds-1 with the legacy but try a tube screamer, i have the maxon pedal and its amazing at pushing the amp into that vai-ish tone.

mike
 

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I love my Carvin Legacy also.

The clean is great, but the high gain only kicks in at VERY loud volumes. A volume pedal in the FX helps me with this.

You can't expect to get a Vai tone form one amp, since he uses 1000's of dollars on his rig, but this does comes close. I think your technique and fingers also help a lot.

Overall i think it's a great amp.
 

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I have been wanting a Legacy also for the price and tone, I get mixed reviews but all of them say its loud which turns me off since I am in an apt situation and soon to be in dorm situation. So that would mean I have to get an attenutors or volume pedal which adds to the price. But from all the youtube vids of ppl that say they are plugged directly in or with screamers or distortions in I love the tone.
AHHH! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've re-canted my disappointment.

I finally spent some time the last two days with it and I've got some great tone coming out of it. I think it is the DS-1 that I'm more disappointed with. Not so much with the pedal itself but more the combination of the pedal through the Legacy.

I just got the amp a few weeks ago and didn't really tinker too much as I really wasn't considering the set-up complete until my Ds1 Keeley Ultra came in. I can get some great bluesy, classic tone, from it, but don't much care for it as a "Boost".

I'm officially using my EQ to color the tone and I've got it right where I want it. I was also thinking that to get Vai'ish tone I would need to play through an Evolution pup not an SD Blackout. In all honesty I didn't buy the amp to sound like Steve Vai. I just expected it to sound like his tone. At the moment I've got some killer sound coming out. Now I can't wait for my EVH phaser and flanger pedals to arrive!

Thanks for the comments guys. Really appreciated.
Pat
 

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It's just like most good tube amps. You really have to get it going at decent volumes to get that singing tone. Vai used to use modified JCM800s. Same thing here. They don't sound as good as they do when they are cranked.
 

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An attenuator is better because you'll get clipping off of both the preamp and the power amp. You'll only get clipping off the preamp stage with a volume pedal. I use a THD hotplate, but the Webers are known to be really good as well, and they have more options on them.
 

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Ya, I only use the volume pedal for moderate volume cut. It is more about volume controll with out loss of preamp drive. If you are trying to get good power amp dist go with an attenuator, as fyrie said.
 

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I just picked up a Legacy combo yesterday and I got a fairly Vai-ish sound out of it by just running my standard effects......George Dennis distortion/Lexicon MX200/BBE Sonic Stomp....straight in through the front. I've got the bass,mid,and treble all dimed. On my last amp I dimed all three on my George Dennis, but with the Legacy I dialed the mid back about 30%. I got a pretty damn reasonable facsimile.

I agree with the opinions on the leadchannel. I'm playing it at home so I'm not about to crank it. The wife and kiddies were out yesterday and I had it to about 2........VERY loud,but not much grind, and pretty mediocre. Although I'm sure at F-15 levels it probably sweetens up alot. In fairness to the amp, I wasn't expecting it to have that kind of gain. The only amps I've ever played or owned that had that type of onboard grind are the 5150 and the old Mesa single rectifiers.
Never quoted my own post before,but I figured I would this time. I neglected to mention that I'm running everything through the clean channel to get my tone.
 

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This is why I love solid state and digital. Whatever inferiorities there might be, the consistency of the sound far out weighs anything else. I am very impatient and could never take the time to search for a sweet spot. :)

I hope the amp turns out being good for you, good luck with that, but this thread is too funny...;)
 
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